Inquiry steps up on Defence and Pacific

House of Representatives

A new Parliamentary inquiry will examine Australia’s Defence relationship with Pacific Island nations in the context of the Pacific Step-up.

The inquiry will be conducted by the Defence Sub-Committee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, and Sub-Committee Chair Andrew Wallace says the inquiry will examine how Australia’s Defence Cooperation programs and Pacific Step-up activities correspond to the needs, requests and feedback from partner nations in the Pacific.

‘We recognise that there may be opportunities for closer coordination and collaboration between Defence and other Government departments on Australian programs and activities across the South West Pacific, as well as between other nations seeking to invest and engage in the region,’ Mr Wallace said.

‘This inquiry will examine the relationship between Defence’s longstanding Cooperation Program and its Step-up activities and evaluate whether these existing programs are effective in meeting the needs of Pacific Island nations.’

The inquiry will include a review of the current activities and outcomes undertaken by Defence in the South West Pacific and gauge the effectiveness of the planning and execution of joint activities and preparation for Humanitarian and Disaster Relief efforts.

The Defence Sub-Committee invites submissions from anyone with an interest in the issues raised by the terms of reference, which are available on the committee’s website. Submissions should be lodged by 20 February 2019.

/Public Release.